Rio de Janeiro: Teen Indian golf sensation Aditi Ashok raised hopes of an Olympic medal as she stood just three strokes off the pace at tied 7th after the second round of the Women's Individual event here on Thursday.
The 18-year-old was just three shots behind the leader, Stacey Lewis of US after firing a second successive three-under 68, which included five birdies against a couple of bogeys, to move to six-under 136.
Lewis, who shot 70 on the first day went on a birdie spree with 10 birdies and two bogeys for a round of 63 that gave her the top position at the midway mark. She is nine-under 133.
Britain's Charley Hull (68-66) was second at eight-under, while Marianne SKarpnord (69-66), Larsen Nicole Boch (67-68) and Inbee Park (66 and two-under through 13 in second) were all at seven-under in shared third place.
Aditi (68-68), with four others was in 7th place.
Speaking about her round, Aditi, who plays on the Ladies European Tour said, "I shot three-under both days, so that's pretty consistent for me. I dropped a few shots today, a couple of shots and I could have been a few shots better, but I'm happy going into the weekend?"
On the importance of her performance for the game back in India, the teenager, who has been a pro for just six months said, "I think it would be big in India, and also being a golfer, a woman golfer, it will definitely boost the popularity of the sport.
"That's what I'm hoping to do. In India and also all over the world, because golf is in the Olympics for the first time, so I think it would make golf more public among the general people who watch golf, not just the golf fans who watch it right now."
Speaking about the conditions, Aditi added, "It was a bit windy. It was windy for me on the back nine. But it's different -- it played different yesterday and it played different today because of the wind. I'm enjoying it."